Lamley Readers, time for your feedback. Should Matchbox do TreasureHunts? And if so, how should they do it?

Lamley Readers, here is your chance, once again, to help in the development of Matchbox.

I have said before that this new team at Matchbox has thrown the rulebook away, and is looking at all possible ways to bring collectors back to the brand.  Of course, it starts with better models and better distribution, but there are other ways as well.

One of those ways to become more collector-friendly is to introduce chase models to the Matchbox range.  The team is toying with the idea, but they want your feedback.

1. Should Matchbox introduce chase models – aka Treasure Hunts – to the basic range?

2. If so, how should they go about doing them?  

There are many ways to do chase models.  There is of course the Treasure Hunt way of adding one unique model in slightly smaller numbers to each batch, or the Super TH way of enhancing one standard model per batch with Real Riders, enhanced paint, and more deco.  Or there is what Greenlight and Auto World are doing.  Create special versions of existing models, always in the same color.  There are raw chases as well.  A model has the same deco as the standard issue, only it is unpainted.

We want your comments too.  Let us know what you think, and please share your ideas.  And be creative!  I promise the Matchbox Team will be reading them.  They are looking for ideas, and no better group to ask than the collectors.

This should be fun…

130 Replies to “Lamley Readers, time for your feedback. Should Matchbox do TreasureHunts? And if so, how should they do it?”

  1. I asked my 6-year-old son, who loves looking for Hot Wheels THs but rarely finds them, whether Matchbox should do them too. He said 'yes', so that's how we voted. Personally, as a 40-something collector of 30+ years, I'm not so sure. I know full well that the reason my son rarely finds a TH (never, in the case of a Super) is because there are people who spend their days going around scooping them up for resale. At some point, I suspect he may stop bothering to look, and so will I. I can however see the attraction in dedicated models for collectors, young or old – how about the chance of an exclusive mail-in model when you've bought 10 mainline Matchbox? Maybe one every six months, to keep the interest in them up, but not a limited edition so that everyone gets a fair chance to get one? Otherwise, I agree with many of the other comments here – better distribution, a greater number of realistic vehicles and even a range cut to 75 models would be my priorities. The latest issues are definitely a step in the right direction though, keep it up Matchbox!
    Instagram: @diecast215

  2. I think matchbox must do cars with rover tires like greenlight do, with the same quality as greenlight, in this matchbox will do a quality jump against hot wheels. Not in boxes. In blister like greenlight. And includes the box as matchbox do in the begginings.

  3. I like this idea. The main thing would be to ensure that before ordering, the retailers should know which batches contain the realistic models and which ones contain the generics. Being able to order individual models would be the even better option especially when certain models appeal to a certain country / area / market.

  4. One thing that always made Matchbox cars collectible, and became collectible in its own right, was the box. A Matchbox car with an original box is more valued than a similar loose car. So much so that the manufacture of fake boxes is becoming an industry in itself. There are even people manufacturing fake Matchbox boxes for current issues.

    Why not issue a Matchbox box with every model as they used to do? I appreciate that a box would take up valuable packaging space so what if the box was flattened and placed behind or above the car in the blister. The back of the card could show instructions on how to unflatten the box if need be.

    Imagine the marketing power of Matchbox cars having their own individual (not generic) boxes again. The cards are all individual so why not the boxes? No other brand has such a connection to the box.

    With this approach all models could become more desirable / collectible and as all models are issued with a box there is no profit for the scalpers. Box art can also change at times like it used to.

    Another request would be to keep the same issue number for a model for as long as that model is issued and not changed simply because the model colour changed. As a collector is was good to collect and line up a range of say MB49 Lamborghini Diablos. Nowadays it seems that the issue number is selected at random each time a production run is made. Recently we even saw a case of issue number 121 from the 1-120 range.

  5. I'm certainly in favour of a TH model being introduced into the Matchbox line simply because it would then represent the opportunity to have a really nice variation available with better and more realistic features such as wheels etc. However, living in a country where we have a poor distribution and choice of Matchbox ranges it does pose the question of HOW best to do this. Unfortunately I cannot comment on the bigger markets like the USA and Europe, but in my case introducing an additional or 'special' range is of no use. We simply never get anything in South Africa apart from the regular range. I often read about people resorting to EBay to find the more difficult to source models but here we don't have that luxury either. So whilst I don't particularly like the Hot Wheels approach to TH because of the rarity factor and consequent scalpers, I can't suggest a better way of doing this. In terms of the actual model were Matchbox decide in favour of a TH addition to the range, I would prefer a slight change in colour and different wheels only. And finally I think the decision to go back to boxes is brilliant!

  6. Improve distribution so people can get the models they want. In the US, go to the short cards, save some $ and put that into the models. Allow the TH to be purchased on line. Maybe set up a collectors club that is allowed to order on line.

  7. I agree. It is kinda bull that some people can get the newer models including the supreme heroes and then jack the prices up on eBay. Today i seen at least 2 sellers selling the newest supreme heroes for 5.99 and 7.99. Then you look at Cadillac one and they go for $20 bucks a car

  8. And this is why Matchbox still doesnt get it…..

    They are worrying about if they should or should not have fancy paint, different wheels or some other aspect to make treasure hunt style vehicles. FFS the cars they have now cannot be found now in most parts of the world. Mattel need to pull their collective heads in and fix the distribution and the product itself before worrying about anything else.

  9. Brad don't mistake this inquiry by Matchbox as a sign that they are not worried about distribution. I promise this team gets it, and I hope you have seen the evidence. They are far more open with collectors than has been the norm in the past, and distribution and model improvement is their top priority. This question was thrown out there to see what the opinion is of collectors. I think it is cool that they are reaching out, no matter what the topic.

  10. Maybe the TH cold be a remake of a classic Lesney model. A Lesney Hunt.
    Bring back boxes. If its a cost thing, sell them separately on the website. Something else to collect.
    If sticking with blisters, why not turn the cards into some sort of game to encourage the younger generation to buy, sell and swap.
    Go back to diecast bodies
    Improve distribution for the ROW
    Go back to 75 models, to stop spreading resource thinly
    More non US marques.
    More real vehicles

  11. I can take or leave the treasure hunt. I enjoyed the 2000 logo cars or Gold Challenge cars.

    -I wish matchbox would leave the model numbering the same. Example: when a VW is introduced as number 15 I want it to be number 15 next year too. Mattel has lost that Matchbox history about numbering.

    -I want more variety. As an example look at 1997 lineup. Good selection of cars, trucks, contruction, police, race cars, convertibles, SUV's, sports cars.

    – I would rather have less models (75 instead of 125) if more were licensed.

    – I would rather have dark smoked windows and no interior if licensed and detailed tampo prints.

    – Your casting catalog is a gold mine. You have tons of castings that have not been used in a while.

    – Seems like many of the models you do license look like your generics anyway. Why spend money on new army Humvee replacement or the GHE rescue vehicle if your line is full of 4×4 generics anyway.

    – I know this is an impossible task when Mattel owns Hot Wheels as well.

    – I wish you luck and would love to help.

    Tom Larson

  12. Other ideas from the forum

    Bring back the catalogue/poster. Could be on the blister or website.

    Have an up to date website. They should look at what Tomica does. If Mattel does not have resources one of us can do it for gosh sake….

    Bring back the Two-Pack range. You have several trailers in the casting catalog.

    Get more involved in social media. Even many 8 year olds have smartphones. You could even have an email only collector's club. Advertise it on the blister.


  13. I love the fact they are reaching out, it certainly shows an interest in the brand that has been sadly lacking in the last few years I just feel that nothing they do will make any difference at all unless they fix the basics first.
    The brand has lost so much ground in the last few years and it will be hard if not nearly impossible to come back from and with their limited funds they would be better IMO if they concentrated on getting the brand into stores before worrying about the nicer things in life like better tampo's etc.
    Also John to directly answer your point on distribution, it saddens me to say that as yet here in Scotland there is absolutely no difference in distribution so for me it wont matter what they do to improve the models I wont be able to buy them anyway

  14. To help fund all this probably the best thing to do is to raise the price point in the USA, the rest of the world pays more than $1 so if the USA was raised as well then Mattel would have more money to improve the brand

  15. I don't think they control how much stores sell them for. But if you raise it to much no one will go for it because hot wheels would be much cheaper then so people would go for them over matchbox. Now I could see a 25 cent raise but nothing more than that. But you also have to consider here in the US each state has different wages so rasing them any at all could be worst on the company then helpful. What they need to do is buy more shelf space in stores and get the cars rolling out. Toysrus for the longest time had pretty much one side nothing but matchbox but now is down to a 4ft by 8ft section that's including big stock items with it. Walmart is the same at least around here it is and we can't keep them in stock.

  16. The USA only $1 price point is a major irritant for the rest of the world where we are charged up to $4 for a new MB or HW.

    If Mattel truly can produce a model with all the overheads, development, licence fees and profit for Mattel, the retailers and all the other in-between people (shipping etc) and still sell it for $1 then the actual cost of manufacture must be extremely low per model.

    This USA only $1 price point has been maintained for around 45 years and to achieve this it seems the accountants have dictated that more plastic must be used, more and more often. (This is assuming that the rest of the world is not subsidising the USA prices.) To maintain this USA $1 price point eventually all MB & HW will have to be all plastic.They are getting closer all the time.

    If Matchbox wants to differentiate itself from Hot Wheels, why not take yet another leaf out of the history books and add diecast to the models, returning Matchbox to “The greatest name in diecast” instead of its current and future status of “An also ran in the plastic car brands”?

    Surely this, and other suggestions made by various posters above would only add fractionally to the actual manufacturing costs and by adding 10 or 20 or even 50 cents to the USA price point you would have a major difference between the two brands – MB is for quality licenced diecast cars and HW for the cheaper plastic cars, with its lots of fantasy generics and “custom” real cars. This will also allow Hot Wheels to maintain its revered status as the $1 toy car in America.

    A check on USA ebay will show that collectors (the target audience of this survey) are already willing to pay more than $1 for current licenced Matchox models (the generics don't fare so well).

    It is nice to dream but I can't imagine the Mattel upper management wanting Matchbox to outshine Hot Wheels.

  17. Go back to what Matchbox best represented…REAL CARS!
    More realism, Less plastic and better distribution. Finding the current models are already like finding chase models. For God's sake, we don't even get Matchbox in Malaysia!! Ridiculous as the blue brother is made here!

  18. Please absolutely no treasure hunts. Treasure hunts have ruined the hobby for a lot of genuine good natured Hot Wheels collectors who collected for fun and relaxation and not profit.

    Please don't let Matchbox go down the same road. Here in the UK the availability of Matchbox is at it's lowest ever point and the UK is the true home of the brand. It is bad enough trying to find a full collection as it is without adding further problems.

    Why don't you go back to it's grass roots? Back to 75 models in the line up, keep the same vehicle with the same number until it is replaced when it becomes unpopular or old. Recolour models yearly if you have to but don't re-number them. Once they have dropped out of the core line they should stay dropped.

    Bring back the catalogue collectors can browse through and tick off after they purchase a model.

    Scrap this wave A and wave B nonsense and give collectors a full choice of the range at any one time of the year.

    Bring back the peg racks on a revolving stand to hold blistered models and have a holder built in to hold catalogues. Siku still do this so why can't Matchbox.

    Bring back picture boxes for smaller shops and the compact displays that housed them. They were a great idea and maximised sales in such a small space. Tomica still do this so why can't Matchbox.

    Raise the price in America to what it should be and bring it in line with the rest of the world so the accountants don't have a strangle hold on how much metal is used. I begrudge paying through the nose for a cheap plastic toy i.e that plastic double decker thing.

    More moving and removable parts should be added to increase play value. The 4 part restriction should be lifted and suspension should be brought back. Majorette do this so why can't Matchbox?

    More should be done to advertise Matchbox. Adverts in comic books, magazines, TV and online.

    A daily updated web site to keep everyone in the know. Hot Wheels have this so why can't Matchbox?

    More real vehicles and every day cars kids and adults see on the street.

    Availability, availability, availability, availability, availability. You have lost your way in the UK and Europe and the brand is nearly extinct here.

  19. This really highlights the problem for ROW distribution. In the UK Toysrus carry no Matchbox at all. Asda (Walmart in the UK) carry no Matchbox. Toysrus have a whole side of HW. There will be no collectors here in the future, as the kids have never heard of Matchbox.

  20. Noooooooo I don't want matchbox to turn into the damn hotwheels sellers selling supers for £40 -$45 a piece Its becoming stupid.
    Matchbox was about making reliable toys MADE IN THE UK!
    NOT cheap Malaysian junk that have many errors!!!!!!

  21. True I reckon UK wouldn't get any matchbox supers anyway Americans are stingy gits getting all the supers and money mad being 10 super from just one shop . for UK price 80p we pay £1- £1.50 and we are still getting 2014 mainline in shops
    Matchbox used to be more collectable than hotwheels

  22. People right now have all of the new matchbox prices jacked up the Cadillac one is going for $20 on eBay and you can't find any of the supreme heroes for under $5.99 and that isn't including shipping. I know people have to make money but I will wait for them to hit stores and pay a corporation before paying a individual all of that money no matter what people we'll always ask a ridiculous price on eBay and Amazon.

  23. I have collected Matchbox for more than 50 years. I slowed to a stop last year. Reasons:
    1) Overwhelmed by the shear numbers of variations – can't keep up without buying a few hundred every year. Busy life and not enough time to HUNT. Too many to display.
    2) Models must be more realistic. No fantasy crazy concept cars
    3) Price could go up in my opinion as long as the quality/detail did too.
    Matchbox collectors are very different from Hot Wheels in that they usually seem kinder, more patient, and less greedy. I know, I collected BOTH.
    With more than 15,000 Matchbox in my collection, I am as proud as ever for what I have. There are many collectors like me that are “quietly” collecting and don't make a fuss.
    If Mattel came out with a higher end collection in smaller numbers (less than 50). I would very tempted to start again.


  24. I say “No” to the question of Matchbox Treasure Hunts. You only help the scalpers who spend all their time scowering the toy aisles looking for them to sell on line. You will not make any friends in the collector communities. I collect for the fun of it. I also find it relaxing. I do not find it fun to run around searching for a vehicle that is 1 in every 10,000 models. I think TH will hurt the brand instead of helping it. As it is I can't find models in the stores now forget about trying to find TH.

    I like variations. Wheel, body and interior variations. I think a 9 pack with all Matchbox orange wheels might be a low cost way to see if that is something the collect community might be interested in.

    I also like 120 models in the line. I would even like more if you could produce it. But I don't want to go hunting for a 1 in a 1000 model, of which I will never find due to the scalpers.


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